Has Laparoscopic Bariatric Surgery been Accepted in Japan? The Experience of a Single Surgeon
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Obesity is steadily increasing in Asia due to factors such as a lack of exercise, adoption of a more Western diet, changing lifestyles, environments, or stresses. Even in Japan, this tendency is notable, and metabolic syndrome has become widely recognized. However, bariatric surgery is still uncommon in Japan. There are no adequate data regarding the experience and outcome of bariatric surgery in Asia. Here, we report on the current status of morbid obesity and the outcomes of bariatric surgery by a single surgeon in Japan.
Between February 2002 and January 2008, we have performed laparoscopic bariatric surgery for morbid obesity in 178 cases. They consisted of laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (LRYGBP) in 105 cases, laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy (LSG) in 26 cases, laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy with duodenal jejunal bypass (LSG/DJB) in 14 cases, laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (LAGB) in 13 cases, and laparoscopic biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch in one case under the same protocol of follow up. The first author of this paper performed all procedures.
One hundred and thirty-eight patients with a follow-up of over 3 months after surgery were enrolled. LRYGBP accounted for 72% of all bariatric procedures. The reduction of weight and body mass index (BMI) in LRYGBP and LSG showed similar results. These outcomes were superior to those of LAGB. Percentage of excess BMI loss (%EBMIL) of LRYGBP showed greater reductions at follow-ups 6, 9, 12, and 18 months after surgery compared to that of LRYGBP and LAGB. All procedures resulted in over 50% of %EBMIL after 18 months of follow-up. There was no postoperative mortality within 30 days after surgery. Preoperative comorbidity including diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia were resolved or improved after surgery in most patients.
In bariatric surgery, LRYGBP is the most effective treatment for morbid obesity, while LAGB has a low risk of postoperative complications. LSG is also a safe procedure for supermorbidly obese patients. We expect that bariatric surgery will be a common procedure for patients with morbid obesity in Japan.